Four of Port Townsend's Splintergroup headed out to examine some redwood slabs that have been through the dehumidification kiln at Miller Manufacturing in Port Angeles.
One of Michael Hamilton's clients has a family property outside Sequim that was homesteaded in the late 19th century. The land was cleared and the family planted trees that grow up and down the West Coast to see how they would grow near Sequim. One set of seedlings included some Redwoods. One of the trees blew down in a storm a couple of years ago. The family kindly offered the tree to the Splintergroup as part of their "Gotta Tree" program that rescues and reclaims lumber from around Port Townsend.
This first (uppermost) part of the tree was sent to Guy Miller's dehumidification kiln to see how it would dry. We met with Guy last week to see how the wood fared in the kiln. Guy showed us round his operation, which primarily makes flooring but he does rent out his kiln (around $350 per thousand board feet) to dry small batches of lumber for landowners.
The dehumidification kiln is made from a converted refrigerated container with dehumidifier added and baffles to control the airflow in the kiln. The temperature can get up to about 150F (which is needed to set pitch in fir or pine).
There are other kilns in the area but Guy's is the only dehumidification kiln I, now, know about. I'll be posting more information about kilns and other local resources over the next few months.
The Splintergroup will be making rustic outdoor furniture from the Redwood. The furniture will be auctioned off for charity at the Port Townsend Woodworker's Show in November 2009.
We checked the moisture content of the Redwood at 14% which is a little high but not a surprise as these boards are 3 1/4" thick. OK for outdoor furniture!
Miller Manufacturing, 255568 Hwy 101, Port Angeles, Washington - (360) 452-0932